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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Dogs and Cats, and Bullies, Oh My!

I still vividly recall the first (and with any luck, last) time I left a job on bad terms. I was working in the boarding kennel of a large vet hospital. I was there for a total of about 3 years. Up until the last several months of my employment there I got along very well with all my coworkers.

We had 2 people in our department who were friends outside of work. They met when one girl got hired and they became inseparable. Literally. You never saw one without the other. They would come to work, set their things down and immediately begin gossiping. For hours at a time, while the rest of us worked around them. We had a boss who had no prior experience in management. She'd been offered the position after the last one quit and while she was amiable, her inexperience showed through her desire to please us. I understand the difficulty she faced in going from an equal to our superior, but I think she tried too hard to be our friend.

Anyway, the trouble began during the slow season in late January. Our facility was capable of housing around 175 animals and I'd guess we had around 20-40 at the time. I didn't work with these girls every day. I'd guess we worked together maybe 3 times per week, me working the morning shift and they working the evening shift. Apparently these two girls had gotten overtime for a week straight. My boss called me aside one day and told me they had said that I was the problem, that I hadn't been doing enough to help out before I left for the day. Mind you, my shift ended at 5pm and theirs at 9, giving them 4 hours to get everything done for the night. They also had help from a high school kid who came in nights from 4-8. Sadly, my boss took their side even though I pointed out to her how lazy these two were.

I found out later that they also tried to complain about a guy who worked with them on weekends. He told me he closed with them on Saturdays and they spent so much time gossiping that they neglected their responsibilities. He got so sick of bailing them out at the end of the night that he just did his own work and left. That's when they told on him. They had similar complaints about 2 other girls as well and even tried to get them fired. One other girl quit because she couldn't take their treatment of her anymore. The worst of it was that through the whole thing my boss was backing them up! She even encouraged us to tell her when these targeted employees were doing something wrong so she could get them for it. I admit I was no angel; I joined in on the gossiping quite a bit myself but I stopped short of actively getting anyone in trouble.

Then the finger was pointed at me and suddenly it wasn't so much fun. I began to resent those 2 for using me as a scapegoat, so much so that I barely spoke to them. I couldn't take seeing them lounging on the counters talking for hours, or doing piddly little cleanup jobs to make it look like they were working. One day I just snapped. I yelled at one of them for something stupid and that just made everything worse. From that point it was all downhill and I started getting written up for the stupidest things. I have never before or since been written up for any behavior issues at any job I've ever held. It was so demeaning that I left when I found out one of the 2 was getting promoted to manager. I knew it would just be a matter of time before she found something to fire me, so I left. Not before I had to endure a sitdown with her and my current manager after she started training, however. That was the last straw.

Her friend had told on me for something stupid so it gave her an opportunity to "discipline" me. I have never, ever, in my entire LIFE wanted to punch someone as badly as I did her that day. She dared to look me in the eye and speak with this fake, concerned sympathetic tone and ask me why I had done it when I knew I shouldn't, and oh, she didn't want to see anything bad happen to me, blah blah, etc. I was absolutely seething with anger and couldn't find anything to say. You know the old adage, "If you can't say something nice..." Well I had a litany of not-nice things I SO wanted to shout at her. I decided then and there that I'd had enough.

I put in my 2 weeks notice (at which point she told me I could leave in 2 days- NOT! I squeezed another full 2 weeks pay out of them). I haven't been back since but I heard she's still the kennel manager there, while I moved on to get my vet tech degree. She will forever be the Queen of S--- as far as I'm concerned. Oh and her "promotion"? Ha! Like the kennel manager is such an important position. She was one of 2 applicants and of those 2, was the only one who actually worked in the kennel. It wasn't a choice, it was a lack of options. You think they'd open the position to outside applicants? Yeah, right - they don't care about qualifications, it's a low-level position. As long as they've got a warm body they don't care who does it. I think it suits her. :)

Being Bullied at Work? What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

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